Compliance Agreement Between The United States Of America And Oak Forest Police Department

Background

This matter was initiated by a compliance review of Oak Forest Police Department ("Oak Forest") under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. ァァ 12131-12134, by the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois.

The parties to this Compliance Agreement ("Agreement") are the United States of America and Oak Forest. The parties have determined that their respective interests can be met by securing compliance by voluntary means and have therefore voluntarily entered into this Agreement.

The parties agree as follows:

  1. By signing this Agreement, Oak Forest does not admit that its current services, policies or practices, including those related to its 9-1-1 services, constitute any violation of the ADA or its implementing regulations.
  2. The ADA applies to Oak Forest because it is a public entity as defined in the Department of Justice's regulations implementing Title II. 28 C.F.R. ァ 35.104.
  3. The subject of this Agreement is the provision of direct access to Oak Forest's 9-1-1 services by individuals who use TDD's and the development and/or continuation of policies and procedures to ensure that the 9-1-1 services provided to individuals who use TDD's are as effective as those provided to other telephone users. Technology
  4. In order to provide direct access by TDD users to 9-1-1 services that are as effective as those provided to voice telephone users, Oak Forest within 90 days of the effective date of this Agreement will:
    1. Acquire, install and maintain one keyboard TDD;
    2. Institute and maintain a system to record TDD calls electronically and will retain those records for the same period of time as recordings of voice telephone calls are maintained;
    3. Use and maintain a stand-alone TDD machine Oak Forest owned before this agreement was entered into as backup TDD equipment to ensure that backup equipment will be available in case of an emergency or TDD malfunction; and Include TDD equipment in power failure contingency plans.
    Policies, Practices and Procedures
  5. Within 90 days of the effective date of this Agreement, Oak Forest will:
    1. Establish and maintain a working relationship with individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing or who have speech impairments in order to continue to evaluate the services, practices and procedures that relate to Oak Forest's 9-1-1 services.
    2. Based on its ongoing evaluation, Oak Forest agrees to modify its current policies, practices and procedures relating to the existing 9-1-1 system, as may be required, to ensure that TDD calls for 9-1-1 services are processed effectively.
    Training
  6. In order to ensure the proper operation of TDD's and related equipment, as well as the effective processing of TDD calls by 9-1-1 call-takers, Oak Forest has provided, and will continue to provide, comprehensive training for every 9-1-1 call-taker, including new hires. The training includes: a) general information about Title II of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act; b) general information about communication issues regarding individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing or who have speech impairments, including general information about American Sign Language; and c) practical instruction on identifying and processing of TDD calls, including the importance of using proper syntax and protocol when responding to TDD calls and explanation of the standard operating procedures for handling silent open line calls as potential TDD calls.
  7. Oak Forest agrees to modify the TDD training instructions it provides to its operators so that the pre-programmed message that is initially sent to the TDD user will be: "Oak Forest 9-1-1, Go ahead."
  8. Oak Forest agrees to instruct its employees who are responsible for providing 9-1-1 services to comply with the applicable provisions of this Agreement.
  9. Oak Forest agrees to:
    1. Establish criteria and test each trainee's competency at the conclusion of the training described in paragraph 6 above;
    2. Develop and implement a supplemental training plan for any 9-1-1 call-taker who does not satisfactorily complete the required training;
    3. Provide a refresher training course every six months from the effective date of this Agreement in order to maintain skill level;
    4. Document all training provided, including each call-taker's employee number, title and the date of the training, and provide a copy of the documentation to the Department of Justice upon request; and
    5. Begin the actions specified in paragraphs 9.a through 9.d on the effective date of this Agreement and continue these actions as indicated above.
    Notification
  10. Within 120 days of the effective date of this Agreement, Oak Forest agrees to publish a notice on two separate occasions in a newspaper of general circulation. This notice will inform members of the public about provisions of Title II of the ADA, its applicability to Oak Forest's 9-1-1 services and Oak Forest's efforts to comply with ADA requirements.
  11. Oak Forest agrees to provide a copy of the notice to any person or entity upon request. Progress Reports
  12. Within 150 days of the effective date of this Agreement, Oak Forest will submit a report to the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois detailing the actions it has taken to comply with the preceding provisions. This report will include copies of notices published in newspapers. Implementation and Enforcement of Agreement
  13. This Agreement is a public document. A copy of this document or any information contained in it may be made available to any person. Oak Forest will provide a copy of the Agreement to any person upon request.
  14. The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois may review whether Oak Forest is in compliance with this Agreement at any time. If the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois determines that this Agreement or any requirement in it has been violated and if the violation is not resolved through reasonable attempts at conciliation, it may institute a civil action seeking specific performance of the provisions of this Agreement, and/or seeking remedies provided for under the ADA, in federal court.
  15. Failure by the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois to enforce this entire Agreement or any provision in it with respect to any deadline or any other provision, will not be construed as a waiver of its right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this Agreement.
  16. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.
  17. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties on the matters raised, and no other statement, promise or agreement, either written or oral, made by either party or agents of either party, that is not contained in this written Agreement, will be enforceable under its provisions. This Agreement does not purport to remedy any other potential violation of the ADA of any other federal law. This Agreement does not affect Oak Forest's continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of Title II of the ADA.

    For Oak Forest:

    ____________________________      Date:___________
    MARILYN MORGAN
    Communications Supervisor
    Oak Forest Police Department
    15440 South Central Avenue
    Oak Forest, Illinois 60452
    (708) 687-1376

    For the United States:

    JAMES B. BURNS
    United States Attorney

    ____________________________      Date:___________
    CHRISTOPHER TRACY
    Assistant United States Attorney
    219 South Dearborn Street
    Chicago, Illinois 60604
    (312) 353-4307

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Updated August 6, 2015

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